Food remains most popular as subscription services take hold

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Subscription services are rapidly taking hold in the UK, as Brits currently spend an average of £2 billion on subscriptions every year, a new report has found.

According to the latest stats from TWC Trends, subscription box market is set to grow 72 per cent by 2022 with the average spend on a subscription box ranging from £7.5 to £30 at present.

“The big one of course, is Netflix, which now has over 16.7 million subscribers here in the UK. However, subscription box services are rapidly emerging in every compartment of our lives, whether groceries, health and beauty products, contact lenses, wines, beers and general living,” commented Tom Fender, TWC’s development director.

“Food remains the most popular subscription box in the UK but it covers anything that is bought on a repeat or regular basis,” he added.

The report has also highlighted the extent of the online explosion when it comes to digitalisation and delivery of food and drink and the impact on convenience and foodservice as consumers are three times more likely now than before the pandemic to say that at least 80 per cent of their retail interactions are digital in nature.

Fender said the market is ripe for subscription services, with women more likely to sign up than men and market looks set to spread fast to the regions from its current epicentre in London.

“One could argue that for businesses who have based their offer on subscriptions, they know exactly what they are delivering when which avoids the highs and lows in supply that we have seen over the past few months whether due to Brexit Covid or delivery driver shortages,” he said.

“Commensurately, consumers are believed to feel more secure in the knowledge that they will be receiving their regular goods.”

Fender noted that the ongoing issues in delivery could act as a real boost to the sector.

“There’s an irony that as demand grows and comfort factors increase around the ease and use of online ordering, we are now in a position where fulfilment cannot keep pace! In London alone, the number of available drivers has fallen by 14 per cent whilst shifts and demand has soared by 53 per cent,” he commented.

“It’s not hard to see that we are about to enter a period of real disconnect that has no short-term quick fix. It is becoming apparent that the market for subscription services will benefit from this current driver shortage.”